17. Devices and Modules

In this chapter, we discuss four kernel components related to device drivers and device management:

Device types—Classifications used in all Unix systems to unify behavior of common devices

Modules—The mechanism by which the Linux kernel can load and unload object code on demand

Kernel objects—Support for adding simple object-oriented behavior and a parent/child relationship to kernel data structures

Sysfs—A filesystem representation of the system’s device tree

Device Types

In Linux, as with all Unix systems, devices are classified into one of three types:

• Block devices

• Character devices

• Network devices

Often abbreviated blkdevs, block devices are addressable in device-specified chunks called blocks and ...

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